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Rhoiney v. Superintendent

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

September 27, 2017

DWAYNE RHOINEY, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JON E. DEGUILIO JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Dwayne Rhoiney, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a habeas corpus petition challenging the prison disciplinary hearing (ISP 16-12-11) at the Indiana State Prison where a Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) found him guilty of assault in violation of Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) policy A-102 on December 7, 2016. ECF 1 at 1. As a result, he was sanctioned with the loss of 120 days earned credit time and was demoted from Credit Class 1 to Credit Class 2. Rhoiney identifies two grounds in his petition which he claims entitles him to relief.

         In Ground One, Rhoiney argues that the DHO did not have sufficient evidence to find him guilty because there was no evidence of serious bodily injury. In the disciplinary context, “the relevant question is whether there is any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary board.” Superintendent v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 455-56 (1985). “In reviewing a decision for some evidence, courts are not required to conduct an examination of the entire record, independently assess witness credibility, or weigh the evidence, but only determine whether the prison disciplinary board's decision to revoke good time credits has some factual basis.” McPherson v. McBride, 188 F.3d 784, 786 (7th Cir. 1999) (quotation marks omitted).

[T]he findings of a prison disciplinary board [need only] have the support of some evidence in the record. This is a lenient standard, requiring no more than a modicum of evidence. Even meager proof will suffice, so long as the record is not so devoid of evidence that the findings of the disciplinary board were without support or otherwise arbitrary. Although some evidence is not much, it still must point to the accused's guilt. It is not our province to assess the comparative weight of the evidence underlying the disciplinary board's decision.

Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000) (quotation marks, citations, parenthesis, and ellipsis omitted).

         An inmate violates IDOC A-102 by “[c]omitting battery/assault upon another person with a weapon (including the throwing of body fluids or waste on another person) or inflicting serious bodily injury.” Adult Disciplinary Process, Appendix I: Offenses. http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02- 04-101 APPENDIX I-OFFENSES 6-1-2015(1).pdf The IDOC defines “serious bodily injury” as follows:

         An injury to a person that requires urgent and immediate medical treatment (normally more extensive than mere first aid, such as bandaging a wound; but which might include stitches, setting of broken bones, treatment of concussion, etc.) and/or that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes:

. Serious permanent disfigurement;
. Unconsciousness;
. Extreme pain;
. Permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or
. Loss of a fetus.

         The Disciplinary Code for Adult Offenders. http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/02-04- 101 The Disciplinary ...


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